Pyanepsia Festival

On the 28th of September, the Hellenic Pyanepsia festival is observed.

The Pyanepsia is a festival celebrating and is devoted to Apollo,  Theseus, Helios and the Horai (the goddesses of the seasons and time).

This is an auspicious time to celebrate the harvest festival whilst retelling the myths of Theseus.  Make an eiresione (take a branch of olive, laurel or from a fruit tree and place around it strings of white or purple wool.  Add fruits, pastries, cakes, acorns to decorate and place on the front door of the home to protect the hearth against ill will.

Avoid meat and offer honey, olive oil, figs, bread, panspermia,  (the meal which was offered to Apollo for the safe travel from Delos to Attica by Theseus), fruit and pastries.

Here is a retelling of the Life of Plutarch you can read out during your devotionals:

(C) T. Georgitsis

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Oskhophoria Festival

On the 28th of September, the Hellenic Oskhophoria festival is observed.

The Oskhophoria is a festival celebrating the grape harvest and is devoted to Dionysus and Athena (Skira).

This is an auspicious time to work with protection, specifically of the hearth.

Offer grapes, vine leaves and wine.

Here is a poem you can use in your devotionals:

Dionysus 

(C) T. Georgitsis

Dionysia ta astika Festival

From the 9th to 16th March , the Hellenic Dionysia ta astika festival is observed.

The Dionysia ta astika is a festival dedicated to the god Dionysus.

Around 500-600 BC the cult of Dionysus was introduced to Athens from Eleutherai a border town of Attica (Athens) and Boeotia (Central Greece).  The myth surrounding this cult follows an Etheutherai man bringing the practice to Athens and it being rejected.  As retribution Dionysus sent a disease which infected Athenian men’s genitals.  To combat this situation the oracle at Delphi instructed the Athenians to hold a procession in honor of Dionysus with the symbol of a phallus prominently displayed.  Since the disease seems to have stopped this procession became a yearly observance.

This is an auspicious time to indulge in the performing arts – attend the theater or similar artistic performance such as a play.

Offer wine and flowers.

Here is a hymn to Dionysus which you can use as an offering prayer on the day:

Homeric Hymn 1 to Dionysus

For some say, at Dracanum; and some, on windy Icarus; and some, in Naxos, O Heaven-born, Insewn; and others by the deep-eddying river Alpheus that pregnant Semele bare you to Zeus the thunder-lover. And others yet, lord, say you were born in Thebes; but all these lie. The Father of men and gods gave you birth remote from men and secretly from white-armed Hera. There is a certain Nysa, a mountain most high and richly grown with woods, far off in Phoenice, near the streams of Aegyptus“and men will lay up for her many offerings in her shrines. And as these things are three, so shall mortals ever sacrifice perfect hecatombs to you at your feasts each three years.”

The Son of Cronos spoke and nodded with his dark brows. And the divine locks of the king flowed forward from his immortal head, and he made great Olympus reel. So spake wise Zeus and ordained it with a nod.

Be favorable, O Insewn, Inspirer of frenzied women! we singers sing of you as we begin and as we end a strain, and none forgetting you may call holy song to mind. And so, farewell, Dionysus, Insewn, with your mother Semele whom men call Thyone.

Hail, child of fair-faced Semele! He who forgets you can in no wise order sweet song.

(C) T. Georgitsis 2017

Rural Dionysia

dionysus-1483423_1920

On December 10th, there is a Dionysian festival in the Hellenic calendar.

This Dionysian festival is called the “Rural Dionysia” and was celebrated in the rural areas of Ancient Greece.

As with many Hellenic celebrations, processions were held and in this instance with accompanying dancing and singing.

Festivities also included comedy productions and cheerful games which were enjoyed by all – even the slaves at the time.

Offerings of cake and symbols of phallus-es were made in honor of Dionysus before a representation of him.

This is an auspicious time to celebrate with merriment – dance, sing and amuse yourselves with comedy or games.

dionysus-172363_1920

Here is a hymn to Dionysus  which you can use as an offering prayer on this day whilst fumigating with some storax resin:

Orphic Hymn to Dionysus

Bacchus [Dionysos] I call, loud-sounding and divine, fanatic God, a two-fold shape is thine:
Thy various names and attributes I sing, O, first-born, thrice begotten, Bacchic king:
Rural, ineffable, two-form’d, obscure, two-horn’d, with ivy crown’d, euion, pure.
Bull-fac’d, and martial, bearer of the vine, endu’d with counsel prudent [Eubouleos] and divine:
Triennial, whom the leaves of vines adorn, of Jove [Zeus] and Proserpine [Persephoneia], occultly born.
Immortal dæmon, hear my suppliant voice, give me in blameless plenty to rejoice;
And listen gracious to my mystic pray’r, surrounded with thy choir of nurses fair.

(C) T. Georgitsis 2016

Dionysus

Was out making offerings to Pan in honour of my late father years back and Dionysus came through which totally surprised me.  I had been feeling the “pull” of Dionysus when it came to my dancing and it felt only right to honour him by having rites in his name.

Under a canopy of fig, laurel and ivy I placed a sacred earthly shrine in my back garden and I have honoured him there ever since:

 

Dyonisus
Offerings of Greek Village Bread, Almonds and Rare Port
Dyonisus - keepsake
A keepsake box with an image of Dionysus and his Maenads which I got during my last trip to Greece
and which I keep my dancing finger cymbals in.